Should medical science
always seek to prolong
by 09S34 HO YONG-QING KELVIN
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Should medical science
always seek to prolong
Kelvin - Orange
Zi Feng - Blue
Chang Da -
Delicia - red
Yu Rong - Purple
Opposing Point 1: Prolonging life may also prolong the suffering of the patient, thus
suffering from a poorer quality of life.
Probable Counter point:
-Some may rather suffer pain now in the hope that in lieu of rapidly advancing
medicine, there may be the possibility of a cure in the long term
- Some prolong life because they have unfinished dreams
eg. kidney failure
patients would have to go for dialysis regularly
to cleanse their blood. it is a process that would cause
extreme discomfort to the patient going through it.
However, it is a necessity for the patient to
continue to live on as if the patient decides to
stop going through dialysis, his organs will slowly
stop functioning and will die a slow and painful death.
Opposing Point 2:
Medical Science should improve the quality of life instead of solely based on prolonging life.
In some cases, prolonging life may not
improve the quality of life of the
however, who can define if
the quality of life is improved?
Example: A cancer patient who opts for
chemotherapy will have to suffer from side
effects like vomiting due to a weak immune
Preimplantation genetic diagnostics
A new biotechnological technique. Recently in the UK it's been used to produce
the first embryo that is free of a breast cancer gene. Thus the child is in some way
getting a prolonged life, due to a lesser chance of breast cancer. child to be free
of a breast cancer gene., ethical issues involved?, quality of life somewhat
Opposing point 3:
Mercy killing in some cases whereby the patient is suffering
intense pain will need the use of science to end one's life painlessly.
who will decide if one's life
should be ended?
Oddly similar to playing God. They
get to decide who dies and who lives
Doctors and nurses who know the most
about the patient's conditions (i.e. whether
or not there are any hopes of recovery for
Family members, especially the biological parents,
who are closest to the patients. Parents because
they are the ones who brought the child to life in
the first place.
The intentional killing by act or
omission of a dependent human being
for his or her alleged benefit.
Arguments For Euthanasia:
It provides a way to relieve extreme pain
It provides a way of relief when a person's quality of life is low
Frees up medical funds to help other people
It is another case of freedom of choice
Arguments Against Euthanasia:
Euthanasia devalues human life
Euthanasia can become a means of health care cost containment
Physicians and other medical care people should not be involved in directly causing death
There is a "slippery slope" effect that has occurred where euthanasia has been first been legalized for only
the terminally ill and later laws are changed to allow it for other people or to be done non-voluntarily.
Places that legalized euthanasia:
Countries - The Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland (they do not punish those who perform euthanasia)
States - Washington, Oregon Montana
Supporting point 1:
The original purpose of inventing and researching medicine was to cure people of diseases and enable them to live a longer and fuller life.
Due to the advancement of technology and medicine, man
are able to live longer lives and age gracefully as the
improved medical science is able to lessen the pain of
However, times have changed and
medical science nowadays also
involve ending lives. It is evident that
the original purpose is now blurred
Example: Abortion Due to
increasing numbers of unwanted
pregnancies in recent times, many
pregant ladies choose to opt for
abortion to remove the unborn
child. Therefore, abortion is
becoming more widely accepted as
a medical surgery, despite the fact
that it is going against the orignal
purpose of medical science.
Supporting point 2: The first duty of a doctor is to save lives, not
take it. (refer to Hippocratic Oath)
Thus, medical Science is 'oath-bound' to
abide by these 'laws' of science, they have
to prolong life at all cost
Possible Counter: How relevant is this in today's society?
The two extremes ends of the human population are getting more
publicity than ever (those who don't want to suffer [i.e. euthanasia,
abortion etc] and those who go all lengths to ensure that they will
survive all diseases [i.e. cryonics].
How relevant is an oath that is centuries old in the 21st century??
Should modifications be made? How far are the doctors supposed to go
in helping preserve their patients' lives [We are not talking about
individual morals and beliefs here, not even branching in what the
society believes and wants!]
-Old fashioned 'boundaries' vs 'new-fashioned' thinking
-Conservative SOCIETY vs liberal INDIVIDUALS!
Supporting point 3: Some religions ban
euthanasia explicitly [pro-life vs
1. Man is a body, soul and spirit.
-I Thessalonians 5:23, “And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
-When Jesus died His body was placed in a tomb (Matthew 27:60), His soul went into Hell to preach to the departed ones in prison (Acts 2:27) and His spirit went into Heaven (Luke 23:46).
2. God owns the spirits of all flesh.
-Numbers 16:22, “And they fell upon their faces, and said, O God, the God of the spirits of all flesh, shall one man sin, and wilt thou be wroth with all the congregation?”
-Numbers 27:16, “Let the LORD, the God of the spirits of all flesh, set a man over the congregation,”
-Hebrews 12:23, “To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,”
3. God has appointed a time for all to die.
-Hebrews 9:27, “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:” Ecclesiastes 3:1-2, “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;”
Ecclesiastes 7:17, “Be not over much wicked, neither be thou foolish: why shouldest thou die before thy time?”
4. Death is when the spirit leaves the body. This is an act of God.
-Ecclesiastes 8:8, “There is no man that hath power over the spirit to retain the spirit; neither hath he power in the day of death: and there is no discharge in that war; neither shall wickedness deliver those that are given to it.”
-James 2:26, “For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.”
-The Lord even sees when a sparrow falls (Matthew 10:29). Although animals do not have a soul they do have spirits (Ecclesiastes 3:21).
5. Euthanasia is the taking of a life before God’s time.
-Only the government has been given authority by God to take a person’s life and that is only in the case of Capital Punishment. (See chapter five.) Physicians are nowhere in Scripture given authority by God to take someone’s life.
Apart from the government in the case of capital punishment, all other human beings are given the commandment “Thou shalt not kill,” Exodus 20:13 and “Thou shalt do no murder,” Matthew 19:18 6. Assisting a suicide is putting oneself in the place of God.
-As we have seen, the taking of the spirit from the body is something done by God in His time. This is God’s business, not ours or a physicians.